Digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome, refers to a group of eye- and vision-related problems resulting from the prolonged use of a computer, tablet, e-reader or cell phone. In the wake of the pandemic, more than one-third of Americans are working longer hours, including 16% who are working more than an additional 10 hours per week, according to the 2020 Chubb Work from Home Survey. Even more remarkable, 43% of respondents to the survey have not prepared their workspace to accommodate for the additional time spent working from home.
As employees continue to work remotely, more hours are being spent in front of screens, causing an increase in reported cases of digital eye strain.
Causes and Symptoms of Eye Strain
According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), some of the most common causes of digital eye strain include:
Heavy screen users who do not take precautions may experience symptoms of digital eye strain, including headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck and shoulder pain, among other ailments.
How to Prevent and Alleviate Eye Strain
Encourage your employees to take the following measures to improve their visual comfort:
Maintaining Eye Health
Just as you would get a physical or dental check up yearly, it’s important to have your eyes examined on an annual basis. If you wear glasses, check ups help ensure your prescription is up to date. If you don’t wear glasses, regular eye exams are still recommended.
It’s also important to wear the right glasses for the job, since not all prescription glasses are created equal. Talking to an optometrist will help you determine if you might benefit from customized computer glasses designed for heavy screen use.
Digital eye strain has become an indirect consequence of of the COVID-19 pandemic. Following these guidelines will help ensure your employees avoid eye strain and stay healthy and productive whether they’re working from the office or home.